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Thread: An actual genuine question I don't know the answer to

  1. #1
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Default An actual genuine question I don't know the answer to

    So I've been hearing more complaints lately about ALTs being told/asked to be in classes without a JTE present. Now this has always happened, but, at least in my time in public schools, was illegal. Has something changed? Are people just bitching about it more?

    One thing that might be related- JET now does public schools. Does this law apply to private schools as well?

  2. #2
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Jan 1970

    Default Re: An actual genuine question I don't know the answer to

    I'm no expert on the matter but i think the whole being alone in a class without a teaching license thing is a murky business. There are all number of situations where its perfectly fine, especially if its only once in a blue moon. For example normal joes off the street can be registered at the prefectural boe as special part time lecturers and they dont need any sort of license to teach solo (although thats mainly used for specialist shit like grandma tanaka is coming into school to teach a class on how to make traditional pickled fish penis or something) Of course if its discovered that a class has reached the end of the school year and the person teaching them for a set amount of time (not sure off the top of my head but for the sake of argument lets say over 50% of the allotted class time) doesn't have a license then it would be declared invalid and those kids couldn't graduate. I think the bigger issue is not having a full time regular employee in the room for insurance purposes in case one of the drooling retards falls out their chair or the 1970's overhead projector suddenly bursts into flames.

    If the private school is one thats giving out japanese qualifications (as opposed to an international school) then they have to play by the japanese rules. However at private schools its a lot easier to get specialist teaching licenses granted so its pretty simple for an ALT to get a license to teach solo full time.
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  3. #3
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    May 2010

    Default Re: An actual genuine question I don't know the answer to

    No idea about the technical legalities, but as far as MEXT is concerned I know they definitely don’t consider ALTs to be real teachers and they are always referred to in official lesson plans, curriculum guides, and teaching textbooks as the T2/assistant.

    Actually, more and more of the elementary curriculum is designed to function without an ALT involved at all since I think they realize that with the new hour requirements they’ve imposed, it’s not possible for most schools to have English classes with an ALT present every time.

    That said, plenty of schools continue to try to dump all of the work on ALTs and pretend that the home room teachers don’t have to take it seriously since it’s still not an official subject yet. I really wonder how it’s going to play out when elementary English class hours double in two years and they are forced to start grading kids in 5th and 6th grade...
    Last edited by Ebi; June 16th, 2018 at 00:15.

  4. #4
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: An actual genuine question I don't know the answer to

    Ini's description is how I always understood it.

    Private school got a bit more leeway, but were otherwise in the same boat.

    Random jackass joe could get a cert provided by the prefecture, assuming it acknowledged there was a functional gap in the education system and proved they were dumb (This is the spot I got stuck on pre-leaving JET. I was trying to get a prefecture cert to move to semi-teacher, and they locked it down saying their teachers weren't problematic. (regardless of the fact I worked with three JTEs who couldn't hold an AB AB conversation.)

    I don't know what's going on now, but I do know that there are heavy subsidies for private schools to finally buck up and get an ALT (compared to before where international programs could afford one and every other private school was retards R us.)
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  5. #5

    Default Re: An actual genuine question I don't know the answer to

    The insurance thing is the only reason I've ever heard that ALTs aren't allowed to teach alone. I had the chance to talk to someone from MEXT directly last fall, and they wouldn't come out and say it's OK or absolutely forbidden if an ALT has to teach a class alone (while the HRT has some other obligation.)

    I hate doing it because the HRT comes back the next time and is lost for 30 of the 45 class...

  6. #6

    Default Re: An actual genuine question I don't know the answer to

    There was an article in our local paper a few months back about a new "special license" given to ALTs with more than 2 years of experience. This would allow them to legally teach classes solo. It apparently started this April (though I haven't heard anything about it beyond the article and I've been teaching for 5 years). 5% of elementary school ALTs are expected to qualify at first (seems low?) and 20% by 2020 (seems high?).

    Pretty predictable response to the new curriculum changes. I get that elementary school teachers are busy (how much of it is self-imposed is up to debate), but it seems like the practice of avoiding a real effort to change English education has spread from apathetic schools to an apathetic government...or perhaps this just proves that it was always at that level. I couldn't find any info on this in English, but here's a brief article about it in Japanese: ALT経験者が単独授業を行なう | スクールIE中央林間校

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